Sociology Major Requirements (Class of 2016)

Note: the new core areas went into effect in fall 2013. Students who are graduating in spring 2016 or later will follow the new core requirements listed on this page. There is also a set of advising recommendations for course clusters for the electives.

Program of Concentration in Sociology
Students majoring in sociology are required to complete 33 hours of work in sociology. The major consists of five types of courses: introduction to sociology; a course in theory; courses that emphasize research skills; courses that familiarize students with core areas of the field; and electives. The statistics course must be taken prior to Sociology 3003.
Course work for the major is distributed as follows:

Introduction: Sociology 1010, 1010W, or 1020, 1020W (3 hours)

Theory: Sociology 3001 (3 hours)

Research Skills: (3 courses, 3 hours each, 9 hours total)
Sociology 2100 (or Economics 1500 or 1510; or Math 1011 or 2820; students also
majoring in A&S psychology or in the Peabody majors in human and organizational development, child development, cognitive studies, or child studies may fulfill the sociology statistics requirement with Psychology 2100 or Peabody Psychology and Human Development Statistics 2110) followed by or concurrent with Sociology 3002 (or HOD 2500 for HOD double majors), followed by Sociology 3003 (or six credits of Independent Research 4981; or Independent Research 3851 with the approval of the chair or director of undergraduate studies)

Core Areas:
Culture, Institutions, and Socialization
Sociology 3201, 3202, 3203, 3204, 3205, 3206, 3207, 3221, 3222, 3223, 3231, 3232
Health, Environment, Population, and Migration
Sociology 3301, 3302, 3303, 3304, 3313, 3314, 3315, 3321, 3322; ENVS 4101; MHS 2310, 2430
Politics, Law, and Conflict
Sociology 3233, 3601, 3602, 3603, 3604, 3605, 3611, 3612, 3613, 3614, 3615, 3616, 3621, 3622, 3623, 3624,; Jewish Studies 2560
Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
Sociology 3601, 3615, 3616, 3701, 3702, 3704, 3711, 3722, 3723, 3724;
Jewish Studies 2400, 2450

Students must take at least one course in three of the four core areas  (9 hours)

Electives: Any 3 sociology courses not used to satisfy the above requirements. They may
include one of the following 1000-level sociology courses: Sociology 1041, 1041W, or 1111.   (9 hours).

The Sociology Department advises students to group their three elective sociology courses in a cluster of advanced concentration electives to be selected with the student’s advisor.

Examples of clusters of advanced concentration electives are as follows:

Cultural Sociology: Soc 3201, 3202, 3204, 3205, 3206, 3207, 3222, 3601
Environmental Sociology and Demography: Soc 3313, 3314, 3315, Soc 3321, 3322; ENVS 4101
Medical Sociology: Soc 3301, 3302, 3303, 3304, 3613; MHS 2310, MHS 2430
Legal- Political Sociology & Criminology: Soc 3231, 3232, 3233, 3315, 3602, 3603, 3604, 3611, 3612, 3613, 3614, 3615, 3621, 3622, 3623, 3624
Sociology of Ethnicity, Gender, and Race: Soc 3223, 3231, 3232, 3302, 3304, 3322, 3616, 3701, 3702, 3704, 3711, 3722, 3723,  3724,; Jewish Studies 2400, 2450

Total hours:   33

Students also take a final comprehensive exam during their senior year. The exam is not graded, and the score does not appear on the final transcript.

Honors Program Requirements

The Honors Program offers superior students the opportunity to pursue intensive work within sociology.  Students who meet the College of Arts and Science requirements and are recommended for the program by the director of undergraduate studies will typically begin the program in the fall of their junior or senior year.  To be considered for the Honors Program in Sociology, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA and a minimum sociology GPA of 3.3.  Honors in Sociology requires successful completion of at least 6 credit hours of 4981 over two semesters.  The first semester, 4981, is a 3-credit hour honors seminar in which students develop the literature review and research plan.  In the second semester of 4981, also for 3 credits, students must complete the research, data analysis, and initial write-up of results.  Students must complete both the first and the second semesters (six credits total) in order to have the honors sequence replace Sociology 3003.  Juniors often elect to take a third or even fourth semester of 4981 during the senior year, when they may work on revisions of the project and on publication.  Students who begin the honors program in their senior year may also take more than 6 credits of 4981.  A student who has completed an honors thesis will defend that thesis through an oral examination attended by the chair and reader of the thesis; this oral defense will typically take place during the spring semester of the students’ senior year.  Students who complete the honors sequence take a minimum of 36 hours to complete the requirements for the major in sociology.  Students must successfully complete an honors thesis by the end of the spring semester of their senior year.  Interested majors should contact the director of undergraduate studies for information.

Effective Fall 2015, Vanderbilt University has introduced a new course catalog numbering scheme. For assistance with the translation between old and new numbers, please consult the Course Renumbering Lookup Tool.

David Hess, Director of Undergraduate Studies


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